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Top Performer: Matt Kalil, Minnesota Vikings
He was the best offensive lineman in the draft, and there is no reason to believe he will not prove that this coming season.
It is not every day that a franchise left tackle falls into your lap, but not only did that happen to the Vikings—not literally, that would have probably hurt—but they were able to trade down and still get him.
Charlie Johnson started all 16 games for the Vikings last year after Minnesota got fed up with Bryant McKinnie and cut him. Johnson was the 54th-best rated tackle last season according to Pro Football Focus.
Methinks Kalil will be an improvement.
Second Best: Jonathan Martin, Miami Dolphins
Another inexplicably falling offensive tackle landed with the Miami Dolphins in the second round, instantly upgrading their situation on the right side.
Miami had Marc Colombo's corpse playing right tackle last year. Even so, he was an answer to a question—a poor answer, but one nonetheless. Questions abounded about the right side of the offensive line.
Then Jonathan Martin fell into the second round.
Landing Martin solidified the right tackle spot, book-ending the position along with Jake Long. Until then, Lydon Murtha was penciled in as the starter. While he performed well in stints last season, he was a questionable answer as a full-fledged starter.
Write Martin's name in the starting lineup in ink.
Bronze: Riley Reiff, Detroit Lions
Once considered a top-10 pick, Reiff fell into Detroit's lap at pick No. 23, and the Lions might not be happier.
The former Hawkeye's stock dropped a bit after a disappointing combine that revealed short arms, but he was still the second offensive tackle taken in the draft.
Jeff Backus will be 35 and on the decline at the beginning of the season, and Cherilus Gosder was not terribly inspiring on the other side. Reiff has a good shot at significant playing time.